CNN anchors called out President Biden on Tuesday while the network aired a jarring image that showed the commander-in-chief celebrating passage of the Inflation Reduction Act even as the stock market tanked.
Republicans pounced on the Biden administration for throwing a party on the White House’s South Lawn, complete with performance by folk rocker James Taylor, on the same day that federal data showed inflation ran at a hotter-than-expected 8.3% in August.
CNN aired a snippet of Biden’s speech before cutting away, with both anchors Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell questioning the timing of the event.
“There is this unfortunate split screen right now with the Dow taking a total beating, down more than 1,200 points, so it feels like it’s hard to be celebratory for some people in the crowd,” Camerota said over footage of Biden speaking at the White House’s widely panned event.
Stocks posted their worst day since June 2020 as investors reacted to the dismal inflation data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 1,300 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped more than 5% and the S&P 500 sank more than 4%.
“This is the day in which the White House celebrates the Inflation Reduction Act, when we get a new report that shows inflation is still especially high,” Blackwell added. “And what we’re seeing on Wall Street is a reaction to that anticipating what’s coming from the Fed.”
Investors are currently pricing in a 68% probability that the Fed will raise its benchmark rate by three-quarters of a percentage point at next week’s meeting. Additionally, they see a 32% probability of a full-point hike, after seeing a 0% chance of such an aggressive move just one day earlier.
The August Consumer Price Index showed a higher-than-expected 6.3% increase in core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs. The CPI’s food index increased 11.4%, posting its largest year-over-year spike since May 1979.
Speaking at the White House, Biden touted the Inflation Reduction Act as a transformational piece of legislation – though independent analyses by The University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton Budget Model and others showed the law isn’t expected to lower prices.
“Today offers proof that the soul of America is vibrant. The future of America is bright and the promise of America is real,” Biden said.